Sunday, June 21, 2009

"The Proposal" (2009) - Movie Review

I have had the share of sitting through romantic comedies that are as processed and packed with boredom in perfection like the blockbuster mindless action films. Lately I did a good job of dodging those by choosing selectively. I ducked the “Bride Wars” and escaped from “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” but “The Proposal” got me, straight in the head. The couples in the films mentioned in real life would not pass one day into the matrimony but that is what the mind numbing films of these kind aims at and that is most of the time people want, including me go to those. There is a possibility of the film doing good job in mending the ropes properly which makes it not a complete sham. Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) and Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) though might be the only couple whom I could not believe for a moment are in love in the end. It cannot be more phony than this for the screenplay to close the curtains of them being together, happily and mainly in love.

A workaholic and a zombie editor in chief, Tate a single woman wiped out of personal life including the people she works. The cardinal rule of an assistant bringing the coffee urgently to his boss is to spill it before the energy drink gets to its destination. Walking through that eventuality, we see Andrew and rest of his colleagues scared of Tate who seem to be proud about it. She acknowledges that contempt from others and may be self satisfied with the outstanding work she does for the company. Well, lets not think that this is going to be an exploration in the world of Office Space kind of parody. It is far from it.

Andrew is blackmailed in various forms by Tate and crosses universes of ethical rules. She is a Canadian and her VISA expires. Her only way for her stay in US would be to marry a citizen. Andrew is looking for an in to being the editor and thus knows that he is in it as well. Both strike a deal to get a quick marriage followed by a divorce in a jiffy. To fool it properly, Tate travels to Andrew’s place for his grandmother’s (Betty White) 90th birthday. So they should and will fall in love.

A plea to Ryan Reynolds. Do not fall for it again. Sandra Bullock appears to have given up in doing any meaningful movies in this remaining career of hers. I hope am wrong about that. Both follow their roles of this wax characters molded out by Anne Fletcher, the director who did a successful torture before in “27 Dresses”. At least in this she has upped the possibility of a career woman forgetting a life of her own.

Andrew and Margaret as their work know their roles in this set up. People outside of work sure spring surprises. They would have been the tightened and dedicated workaholics but their wild side may be too much to witness. People like Andrew the assistant and Margaret the emotionless boss can indeed find true love outside of work. My hate for the film does not translate into the impossibility of such an event. But in “The Proposal” I could not find a speck of evidence in their obligatory kiss and the moment they lighten up to “learn” about each other. The only long conversation throughout the whole film is a five minute night time talk where Margaret as a helpful note for the things to know about her reveals a little of her sad lonely past. People do not go on to love driven by sympathy or even if they do, the spell withers as the real them bites in.
In the beautiful location of Alaska, Margaret finds being in a family and thus how it is cruel to break their heart by this plan. She sees her assistant leaving a wealthy inheritance for a career hated by his father (Craig T. Nelson) and a mother (Mary Steenburgen) longing for a visit from her son. These emotions while truthful is used stupidly confused like a teenager for bonding. I can see Margaret and Andrew becoming friends, have meaningless sex, understand there is a life outside of cut throat business, relish the beauty of nature and contribute to global warming awareness at the end of such a trip. Not in love, never ever.

1 comment:

Bowler said...

while watching the proposal, i got the feeling that Sandra Bullock is too old to be Ryan Reynold's girlfriend/fiance